Bar Fest 2016 and Striped Bass Fishing In Gaspé

Mid-July 2016. The weather is shady, the van is packed. We hit highway 20 East, a road we’ve taken many times before with the beautiful rivers of the Gaspé and their mythic salmon on our minds. But this time is different, this time we’re on our way for the first edition of the Bar Fest in Carleton-Sur-Mer. We’d been thinking about this event for a couple years now, and finally seeing it come to life thanks to Gaspé Fly‘s solid help was like a dream come true. Designed to gather the peninsula’s angler community during a chill weekend were music, fishing and good vibes would be the main focus, the event relied on the newcomer of the Baie-des-Chaleurs area, the striped bass.

The Bar Fest 2016

The migration of the Miramichi River striped bass population has been extending to the Gaspé for a few years now, and the striped bass has taken its place in the fly-fishing culture of the Gaspé. Whether its to pass the frustration of a couple skunk days on the salmon river, to relax with fishing pals or to introduce someone to fishing, the striped bass has become the go to species for accessible and fun fishing. That’s what the Bar Fest 2016 was based on, and although the fish did not show in the expected numbers, the spirit of the event remained: sharing and celebrating our passion.

The Bar Fest in Carleton extended between July 9th and July 10th 2016 and brought us together with lots of friends from the industry. We also met with tons of incredible people, including local outdoor enthusiast Raph Guité who offered us to stay in one of his yurt on the Barachois, adding a sweet local touch to our stay in Carleton.

Chasing stripers

After the event, we headed north of the peninsula, towards Percé, to a place we’d been before and where we knew we’d find fish. A few years back, Fred and Phil had had a lot of success in Barachois, and although the event had already made our trip one of a kind, we still felt the urge to get some action on our lines. Traveling over night, we arrived at high tide to witness schools of fish travelling back and forth in the Barachois, chasing the sandeels. We started fishing, catching a fish here and there until the tide started to lower. As the Barachois channel became thinner and thinner, the fish became more and more concentrate until we started to catch a fish on each cast. We fought with fish after fish under the burning sun until our arms were sore and our minds satisfied.

When evening came, we gathered on the shore of the Baie-des-Chaleurs with good friends who shared with us the clam bake they had carefully prepared. In full accord with what a stripe bass fishing trip should be like, this evening will remain in our memories. As the sun set behind the Percé Rock, the stripers once again started to rush in the Barachois, allowing us a couple last catch and making this journey on the Gaspé more than perfect.

Striped Bass 2013

We’ll soon release some footage of this great trip on the Gaspé. Meanwhile, you can check out out first ever striped bass fishing trip filmed in Bonaventure in 2013! Great memories and a great preview of what was to come!